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Chris Bernhardt

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About Chris Bernhardt

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    Senior Member

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  • Location
    USA
  • Occupation
    Home Inspector
  1. What is this old metal thingy?

    Thanks Bill you're the man! Chris, Oregon
  2. What is this old metal thingy?

    Click to Enlarge 32.47 KB Click to Enlarge 34.86 KB Chris, Oregon
  3. Pre-list vs pre-purchase inspection and liability

    I don't like doing them either. Never had a problem. But I feel compelled to document more of the stupid piddly stuff that I would otherwise ignore. Chris, Oregon
  4. Backup laptop

    One thing about Carbonite is that if your back up is windows, you can't restore to a mac and vice versa, but you can still go on the site and grab individual files and download them to your mac or pc. Google drive is also convenient. You can retrieve your stuff no matter what you're on: phone, tablet, mac, pc, etc. I transfer stuff all the time between my mac and my android devices via google drive. Chris, Oregon
  5. In my neck of the woods, there are some realtors who prefer inspectors who deliver the report on site, so that they can work up and get signed an inspection addendum by the client and be done with all the hassle and stress of trying to meet up again with the client and rehash over the clients concerns. Good for the realtor, bad for the client. The vast majority of realtors are fine with getting the report within 24 - 48 hours. There's another set of realtors who just want you to do the inspection as fast as you can, so that they can go get their hair done or go shopping. This group could care less if you gave them a report onsite and would prefer you not do it if it adds to their time on site. The only time I find clients asking for an onsite report is when they are going out of town or they are at the end of their inspection period. A 24 hour cooling off period or sleeping on it model I think is best for everybody. Chris, Oregon
  6. Which Moisture meter?

    The Tramex has more than double the sensitivity then the SM. I use them both. I use the Tramex more often, but under certain conditions I'll use both on the same same area to characterize the depth and breadth of what might going on. I use the SM as a practical manner on tight spots like the corners of window sills. I also usually go for the SM when scanning tile surrounds. Using both I can weed out false positives. The Tramex will detect moisture on the back of a drywall ceiling under certain conditions that the SM can't. Chris, Oregon
  7. Why So Much Leaking?

    Assuming it's not from condensation, It's from mis-driven fasteners. Roof can't leak unless there's hole in it. Chris, Oregon
  8. Roy, 1) There's lots of passive voice in your writing, long and boring statements. A lot has already been said in this forum on the use of the passive voice. Passive voice will have you thinking in terms of the defects, not what they mean. The client doesn't care what the defects are, they care about what they mean. Transform your writing and your thinking from the passive voice to the active voice. 2) Don't describe your SOP's required descriptions in full sentences. Organize them in a table. Save the full sentences for your narrative and recommendations. 3) More clearly demarcate between your observations and your recommendations by using form not words. Don't run your observations and recommendations in the same paragraph. Run them in separate paragraphs and format recommendations different than observations, i.e. in bold. Doing so, you won't have say things like "I recommend ..." or start your paragraph with "Recommendation: ...". 4) Use the imperative when writing your recommendations. 5) Understand that you don't always have to have a separate narrative paragraph. You can many times phrase the problem in terms of the recommendation for simple defects. In those cases, I have a subheading, my narrative paragraph is simply "See photo", and the recommendation terms the problem. 6) Start your narrative with the location of the problem or issue i.e. "In/on/at/where the ..." 7) As Les said to me along time ago, don't use "we" unless there's more than two of you. Follow the Kurt's rule: limit your paragraphs to two sentences or less. If you need another sentence, then you probably need to break things out in terms of a separate observation or recommendation. 9) You flag your individual observations/recommendations by recommendation type. Group them instead. 10) Consider starting your observations with a brief summary. See one of Hausdok or Jim Katen reports. Chris, Oregon
  9. Functioning as intended

    Mike, does Washington's SOP require an affirmation indicating satisfactory on items you inspect that don't have problems? Oregon's SOP does. In other words, you can't just say no problems found with the roof. You could say no problems found with the roof coverings, gutters, flashings, skylights, chimneys, and roof penetrations. Also I've heard of complaints about getting knocked by the ASHI report reviewers for not doing just that. Chris, Oregon
  10. Functioning as intended

    When you throw those terms around i.e. functional, operational, satisfactory, serviceable, most clients nod their head as if they understand what the terms mean, but the words are not worth the ink on the paper when a problem arises. I think this is because the terms represent a compendium of unexpressed possible affirmations that might be relevant for a particular item, i.e. appears to be: undamaged, installed in a workmanlike manner, installed to code, working, etc. I think the terms only mean something to an expert witness. If the expert witness supports or denounces an inspectors use of the term, the jury will go along with it in spite of the fact they have no clue what the terms mean. Les, you're an expert. I consider you a founding father. I would think that whatever you want to say, will be accepted. By Mikes definition if I understand it correctly, functioning as intended means: in spite of everything else that's wrong with it, it's working doing what it was intended to do. Chris, Oregon
  11. Functioning as intended

    Functioning as intended doesn't mean anything to a little old lady reading a home inspection report and it doesn't mean anything to a jury. The term functioning as intended as far as I can tell is a compendium that home inspectors have a sense of but if you ask them to define it they ordinarily can't. Many inspectors use terms like functioning as intended, satisfactory, operational in their reports which I admit to myself. I originally took the terms from requirements in various SOP's which require the inspector to indicate whether or not an item is ... functioning, satisfactory, etc. I know I have never seen Jim Katen use those terms in any of his reports that I have ever read and I can't remember him even using those terms ever in speech when I've talked to him. Hausdok, Les, Kurt, Bill Kibbel do you ever use those terms in your reports describing in the affirmative the condition of items you inspect? Has anyone come across a useful definition of the terms in the context of a home inspection that a little old lady could understand? Chris, Oregon
  12. Functioning as intended

    Is there a distinction in anyone's mind between functioning as intended and satisfactory? I guess the real question is what to heck does functioning as intended mean and how does it have any utility for anyone other than a home inspector? Chris, Oregon
  13. Functioning as intended

    I got it from Les years ago. I very rarely use writing narrative, but I use it in disclaimers. But even considering terms like "Satisfactory", "Operational", etc. the same thing applies. Can something be functional, satisfactory, operational and at the same time be installed in an unworkmanlike manner and or not to code? Chris, Oregon
  14. Can something be functioning as intended and at the same time be installed in an unworkmanlike manner and or not to code? Chris, Oregon
  15. Request for Critique

    Check list style has a place, but it's not in communicating findings to someone uneducated in housey stuff. It can be very hard to cut loose this framework, and there's no way to significantly improve the readability of this report. Checklist frameworks force good inspectors to pigeon hole defects and risks muddled thinking and reporting on them. Narrative unencumbers a good inspector to translate their opinion into their own words that are most beneficial for that particular client. My advice, dump this entire report format and start over. Use Jim Katens format as a starting point. There are many very well thought out elements to Jims report and it's the best one out there in my opinion. Chris, Oregon
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